Thursday, August 31, 2006

Blogging the Relationship (10)

Look at that double-digit number! Ten posts about this here relationship! And the LT is still dating me!

Then again, he hasn't seen me in three days. Nor has he seen my apartment, which looks like an bomb of clothes exploded in it--seriously, we are talking a time capsule under pressure, here--nor has he kissed me since I stopped brushing my teeth dour days ago. And washing my hair. Hope he likes bugs. I have named the first one, "Fred".

Moving along. The Norfolk trip, The Rest Of The Weekend.

Number of times the boys laughed at me as I was throwing up WHILE I WAS TELLING THE STORY of throwing up: 17.
Number of times we went to Moe's: 1.
Number of hours we spent sitting at Starbucks afterwards: 65.
Number of times we had to remind ourselves that we actually had to attend THE WEDDING today: 16.
Number of time, at the wedding, LT and I got told we were the perfect match, usually by his Navy buddies trying to insult one or the other or both of us: 147.

(Submariners often hide their feelings in layers of sarcasm. It's a thing they do.)

Number of hours we stayed out the wedding night: moderate.
Posts I wrote: 1.
Number of minutes it took the boys to fall asleep after The Shining started: -5.
Number of things we did on Sunday: 4.
Number of those things that involved both coffee and alcohol: 3. (The order, though, is key. FIRST a maragarita, THEN the coffee.)
Number of those things that involved a nuclear submarine: 1! I got to go on a submarine!
Number of hours that tour lasted: 3. I think the enlisted guys thought I was moving in.
Number of strange looks I got as a LADY on board: 32.
Number of times I was referred to as a "defense contractor": 3.
Number of little thrills I got: 6. (Hey, I like my job, okay?)
Number of ways I looked like a defense contractor on that particular day: ...zero.
Number of cups of coffee I had on the submarine: 2.
Number of hours of sleep I got after talking with the LT for forever about racism, the South, civil rights, the women's movement, and my preceding terrible week at work: -2.
Number of times I fell asleep on the LT on the two plane flights: 15.
Number of cups of coffee I got once back in Seattle: 26.
And, finally, number of ways in which I'm happy to be home: 15,647!

Accuracy of some of the later numbers, above: ZERO. I mean, the relative magnitude is right...

And, finally, a snippet of conversation:

We're all standing around at the wedding after dinner, talking, the boys doing the usual joiking about how once they heard (submariners gossip A LOT) that LT had found someone willing to date HIM, they just HAD to meet her, etc. And there's quiet for a second, and I get this:

Navy Boy: So, you're vegan, I hear.
Me: Yep. Thinking: Here we go.
Navy Boy: How does that work with this carnivorous animal, over here? (Meaning LT>)
(Laughter)
Me: Oh, this guy? You know, if your girlfriend--assuming you could find someone to date you--ever cooked you a hot meal and put it on the table in front of you after a long day of being on the boat, with silverware and everything, would you stop to make sure it had meat AND dairy products in it?
Navy Boy: Hell no!
Me: Exactly.
Navy Boy: Okay, but how the heck did you get the LT to date you in the first place?
(Laughter)
Me: Oh, I pulled the ol' bait-and-switch. I wasn't a vegan when I met him, and then I became vegetarian right after we started dating, and then I went vegan almost the next week, but by that time, he was stuck!
Navy Boy, making the obvious joke that has to follow: Uh huh, that's what I heard!
(Laughter)

But for a more well-written and serious take on this issue, check out the Urban Vegan's post. It's very good, and very true.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Sparks and Rain

NOT Snakes on a Plane! (Not yet, anyway. Anyone seen it?)

It's a Tuesday night, and the rain has come in, bringing not only the interest--and contentment--of changing weather, but also the blessed relief of finality, of normalcy. Seattle is just happier in the rain. In Norfolk, I was struck by how beautiful the people were, which was partly about me being on vacation and already being in a positive frame of mind (because I have definitely spent some quality time in the South before, and not noticed this) and partly about watching the natives relax in the sunshine. It's easy to be beautiful when you're relaxed and not stressed out--my skin cleared up in three days, just being on holiday--and Norfolk deals well with sunshine. They like it. They know it. It's familiar. And when it's sunny and warm--and humid--which it was all three days the LT and I were there, they relax; it's what they're used to.

Not so Seattle! We like sunshine, of course, but we feel pressured by it. Get out! Enjoy it! It'll be gone soon! Don't waste a second! Etc. CAE once said, "You guys are OBSESSED with the weather here!" And we are.

So, with the rain comes...peace. Relaxation. It's what we're used to, after all.

Titan and I went down to the dog park, were pleasantly surprised by all the dogs, and then got rained out ten minutes later, which was just fine. We came back to the apartment and listened to the rain fall in the twilight. I fed him and fed myself, and then left in the damp open-topped Jeep to run errands, and was pleasantly reminded that it's not too cold yet to have the top still open, especially in The Land Of Underground Parking Garages. I bought vegan noodle bowls, and all kinds of asian sauces (sesame oil, rooster sauce) and a few toiletries and nothing fancy, but things that I needed.

I thought about cooking, with the damp breeze blowing in with the dark, not cold enough to close the sliding door but getting there, but didn't. I ate corn chips with gourmet guacamole and called my mother and drank a Sparks. I thought about things I needed, like measuring cups, and things I wanted, like everything in the Museum of Useful Things, and some things on the MoMA store site. I mused on the fact that I currently own FOUR pairs of jeans that I wear regularly, which is a record for me, and what that means, and how many dirty dishes I have and how little I care about that, and how great that was, trying to hang on to the vacation frame of mind. I called the LT and thought more about cooking, but got nowhere, and played around with iTunes and bought vitamins for myself and Titan online and brushed my teeth and let Titan out and went to bed.

And it was good.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

We Interrupt This Norfolk Trip

To bring you a picture of myself. AND my apartment, which is, I swear, the important thing about this photo, so please excuse the fact that I appear to be preggers. (I'm not.)


In this photo, you can clearly see my "dining" (read: Blogging/Drinking/CSI-Watching) area to your left and my right, with the red chairs, and my kitchen behind me, with the refrigerator with the pictures.

My question:

Does my apartment look sort of...I don't know...country?...to you?

And if it does, would this coffee pot not be perfect?

Monday, August 28, 2006

Trip to Norfolk, aka My Third Wedding with a Date Ever

aka My Second Plane Trip with a Boyfriend Ever,
aka the First Time I Have Stayed in the House of a Boyfriend's Friends.

Um.

(By the way: Any ideas that the LT might have had about how new and different this trip would be for me: Very, very few. I can, occasionally, play my cards close to my chest. Stop laughing! I swear I can!)

So! Norfolk, Part The First, in numbers:

Number of cups of coffee I drank, trying to stay awake after flying a red-eye through ATL: 5
Number of vegan bagels I ate: 1.

(Go Au Bon Pain! And thank you, manager lady who chased down the ingredient list for the plain bagels at 5 am.)

Number of minutes before the LT's friend/our Host for the weekend started a political conversation with me: -17. (Is it the air I breathe?)
Number of dollars I spent on vegan groceries: 26.
Percentage of available space of Host's Refrigerator I took up with my vegan groceries: 98.
Number of ways in which Host kicked ass, just at this point alone: 35.

Number of horses I petted: 3.
Number of times Host warned us about the electric fence: 3.
Number of electric fences I tested: 1.
Decibels at which I screamed: 2437.
Sigh.

Number of Navy LTs and LTs (Junior Grade) I met at the rehersal dinner alone: 4.
Number of Brides I met: 1.
Number of Extremely Drunk Bride's Sisters I met: 1. (Whew. I knew then that, no matter what happened, I'd blend in.)
How hammered we all got at the rehearsal dinner: ...Good Lord.
Hours it took, after that moment, for us all to realize that wine, too, contains alcohol, and perhaps we should just stop drinking: 10.

(As in, much later the next day.) (Continuing this story, with me in blissful ignorance.)

Number of members of the bride's family I went and drank sugary martinis with afterwards: 34.
Number of times I got stranded, drunk as a skunk, in a strange city, with no way to get home: 2.
Number of times this bothered me: -3.
Number of times I threw up once I got home: at least 9.
Number of times I cleaned the bathroom: 1, and damn well, too!
Proof: Number of times Host would have realized I had even USED his bathroom if I hadn't mentioned it: 0.
Number of times I worried about where LT and Host were: -2.
Number of cars the LT disassembled at the bachelor party while their owners were passed out: 1.
How intoxicated both LT and Host were at this point: limitless.
Number of times I heard this story later: 30,542.
Percentage of meals, thus far, I had eaten entirely vegan: 100%!
Number of times I have embarrassed my mother while telling this story: 146.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Update from Beautiful Virginia

Hello. It is Saturday night, I haven't blogged in days, and I am in Norfolk, VA, home of the million dollar 500 square foot homes and the biggest naval base in the world. I didn't blog about this trip AT ALL during the preceding days because:

1. I was about to meet all of the LT's closest friends, including the guys that he SERVED WITH on the submarine. To say these guys are "close" would be an understatement.

2. I was about to be "the tagalong" at a bachelorette party, at which I would know no one, and

3. I knew I would be late to start this trip in the first place, i.e., I had the LT do my dishes while I packed. And I was a stress case and a half. And then the traffic built up and we barely made the plane. And I KNEW that this, or something like this, would happen.

So I didn't blog about it. I didn't want to talk about my feelings of inadequacy compared to how beautiful Southern girls are; my feelings of stress, which would encourage binge drinking, and how worried I was about that, and all sorts of other things. I was so worried I couldn't blog.

But...and whether this is good or bad, I can't tell...I passed all the tests, apparently. I'm eating vegan (with the exception of potatoes with butter, at the wedding), I'm meeting the boyz, I met the bride whose bachelorette party I was crashing, and I'm still alive. In fact, I'm so late in blogging that the bacherlorette party AND the wedding are already over, and from now on I can relax and maybe get some real sleep.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

I'm Supporting Blogger Beta!

Do I look different? Prettier, somehow? It's not the eyebrows. (GOD my eyebrows. Drama about this will follow in a later post.) It's not the hair. (GOD my hair is so pretty!) It's not even the weight loss! (Did I mention? Four pounds!)

It's BLOGGER BETA! Yes! I am in the first increment (or so) of bloggers that got offered the beta service, and I took the plunge WITHOUT EVEN WARNING Y'ALL.

Sorry. I am selfish. And also impulsive.

So, Blog Audience, meet Blogger Beta, Blogger Beta, meet Blog Audience. I'm sure you will get along great. I'm going to change my template, I hope, and do some other blog maintenance things I've been dying to do, like add tags and categories and organize my archives by keyword. All of which will take time. But I'm excited, and I hope you are, too.

Did I mention I also have new jeans? (Size SIX?)

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Confession

Warning: annoyed. Very annoyed.

I’m in one of those moods in which I can’t believe that other people came to work and are TALKING, POLLUTING THE AIR AROUND ME WITH SHAKY OLD MAN VOICES THAT GO ON AND ON AND ON. I’m not sure why they think they have the right to talk ANYWHERE in my hearing radius. I mean, SERIOUSLY. And what is with all this WALKING AROUND? STAY AT YOUR DESK! Nothing I hate worse than old men wandering around; they’re like loose cannons! You never know WHAT they’re going to do!

For all those who think I’m being intolerant (moi?) just imagine that you’re in constant fear of an old man the age of your grandfather suddenly popping up behind your right shoulder and asking, in a quavering voice, “How do you access more than one worksheet in Excel, again?” And officially ruining your train of thought for the next hour.

Ahem. (Amazing how I can complain about my train of thought being ruined and then, in the next breath, spout off on my baseless and melodramatic opinions for five pages, isn't it?) (Note to my parents: no, you're not annoying when you ask me questions about computers, I promise!)

Anyway. As some of you may know, I am A Liberal. And I live in Capitol Hill, Seattle. The Liberal Center of Seattle. I live in a place in which, when the LT walks to my apartment from downtown, in uniform, he gets strange looks. Yes. That is the kind of place I live in, and generally, I like it. Yeah! Boo on the government! Damn the Man!

Not that I hadn't HEARD of weird girls who actually like men in uniform. I did go to college, and I DID live in a sorority house with roughly thirty girls, some of whom had full-blown uniform fetishes, but I thanked God that I was not one of those--not that there was no way I could be. As I grew up, I was, um, sort of rebellious, and in occasional trouble, and therefore I developed a healthy FEAR of uniforms. The appearance of uniforms in my peripheral vision still means, to me, that my life is about to get very unpleasant. To this day I am afraid of cops, even though I have actually dated one. So, I mean, uniforms, what? Nothing special. Uniforms. Ugh, outdated and polyester, usually. I mean, antiquated. I mean, the signs of warfare and oppression in the world. I mean, give me a break.

And then the other day, several weeks ago, I came down to let LT in to my secure apartment building, and I saw him there in his uniform, and I believe my reaction was...warm. (Read: if I had had a tail, I would have wagged it. And possibly jumped up on the LT and slobbered all over him.) (It’s rare that I want to be my dog.)

Is it possible that, thanks to my Navy boyfriend, I have betrayed my liberal roots completely and fallen for a guy in uniform? And what does that mean?

Monday, August 21, 2006

Camping Pictures!

Yes! We have them!

The girls that own dogs. Sans, obviously, dogs. (The dogs are THERE. They're just off in the stream somewhere at this particular moment.)

The girls that went to Europe together. (Not me.) And a nice shot of how beautiful the site was.

Finally, the best picture ever!

Yay camping!

I Hate the Words Rant and Rave

So I'm using the phrases "good" and "bad". Suck it.

Bad Things: See last post.
Good Things: I get the chance to write an angry appeal letter!

Bad Things: I'm having one of those days where I feel like the world puts milk in stuff just to spite me. It's a FRUIT MIX, for God's sake. FOR THE LOVE OF CHRIST, WHY ARE THERE YOGURT-COVERED ALMONDS IN THERE? And don't even get me STARTED bout Herschey's "dark" (read: sugar-and-milk-laden) chocolate! An especially nice touch: a little blurb about "antioxidants are found in cocoa!" on the front of the chocolate bar, right next to "consume in moderation". Ahem. Herschey's, you and I both know that that "dark" chocolate bar is maybe 10% cocoa at the most, and therefore there ain't NO ANTIOXIDANTS IN THERE!

At least, not as much as there is cholesterol. For example. Sigh.

Good Things: Not having vegan anything makes it easy to not eat the candy in the candy bowls. Or anywhere, for that matter.

More Good Things: Camping was awesome! We went to the Middle Fork Campground in Snoqualmie National Forest, for those who care. Very flexible site. I took Titan on a serious hike by ourselves for about an hour and a half, and then later in the afternoon all the girls and I took a "nature walk". Which is code for, "Wear flip-flops, carry a drink."

It was great.

Bad Things: I did not get to go shopping.
Good Things: I saved money!
More Good Things: My pasta salad for the housewarming party turned out well!
Bad Things: Even though I over-cooked the pasta. Hey, it was CORN flour pasta! That's new and different, okay?
Bad Things: Desperately need to clean and do laundry.
Good Things: Because I just came back from camping and I get to go to Norfolk with the LT in three days!

WOO!

Annoyed Female Seeks Soy Delicious Peanut Butter Zig Zag

Warning: possible non-parental-unit-appropriate material ahead.

So. At my recent "office visit", I asked my doctor about the HPV vaccine making headlines, and he said, "I was just going to ask you about that. Are you averse to getting it? Because I'm recommending it for every single one of my patients under 50. My own daughters are getting it the second they come home for the holidays."

"I'm not averse," I said.

"That's good," he said, "but your insurance may not cover it, and if they do, they may only cover it before age 26."

"Why?"

"Who knows? Just find out if your insurance covers it ASAP and I'll schedule you."

He leaves. (A brusque guy, yes, but caring.) In talking with his secretary just a few minutes later, I mention this under-26 policy, and she rolls her eyes. "It's true, and not only that, it's complete bullshit. With Viagra, you could catch HPV well into your 60s and 70s. 80s, even. And it would be just awful to have survived 80 years, only to die from cervical cancer because some prick on viagra infected you and your insurance wouldn't protect you!"

Today, I called my insurance company. Do they cover it? HECK. NO.

But they do, of course, cover Viagra.

Camping

Hello. I have been camping. I am tired and have already been at work for an hour. I did not get a shower this morning. I am working ten-hour days this week. Stay tuned.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Civil rights, Gay Rights, Women's Rights, and Equal Rights. Oh, and Shock Value.

Time to live up this Blog's address, I suppose!

To: LT
Sent: 8:20 a.m.

You've nailed something that the veganfreaks board has also been talking about recently: the idea of radicalism versus reality. You have a lot of separate points here, so I'll try to address each one equally.

First of all, I think three young girls in pink tutus and stockings, with nice legs, would be labeled Generally HAWT in Cap Hill. Might be a little too much for some, but certainly nothing you wouldn't wear to a party or a club, and nothing that any good hipster boy wouldn't find a complete turn-on. Even with the combat boots. So your three superficial reasons for getting dressed---status, style, attractiveness--are all fulfilled. They're claiming their status as hipsters on parade. They're certainly stylish in their minds. And they're attracting the boys (or possibly girls) that they would like to attract. Is their status, style, and attractiveness only aimed at a certain minority? Sure. But only compared to the world's population--in CapHill, the subset of the population they're playing to is the majority!

Do they still look a little odd compared to the rest of the kids on the street, including you and me? Yes. So they ARE going for a little shock value. But not to prove a point. They're looking for attention--which they get, even if people don't stare. And I think that's the start and end of their choosing to wear tutus on the street.

Onto the reasons to use shock value for a REAL reason from a political and historical perspective:

I don't remember specific instances of using "shock value", in this context, in the racial struggle. Sitting in the wrong part of the bus, okay, but I think that would be labeled passive protest more than shock value. The Black Panthers were more violent than shocking. And the "racial struggle", as you put it, is definitely still going on today--but I think you're referring to the civil rights movement. Which would be about..well, generally considered to be no more than a couple of decades. I believe. (Quick fact check on wikipedia: about 1960-1980, they say.) Or I guess what I'm saying is, the only part of the racial struggle that could be considered to have possibly used shock value is the Civil Rights Movement. And I don't remember any specific instances.

Have we talked about the comparison between the Civil Rights Movement and the Gay Rights Movement before? You might know then that some prominent black people have protested the use of "civil rights" to apply to the gay rights movement, as the Church is a much stronger influence in the black community than it is in the white community, (partly because black people are, hey, the minority, so it's easier to have a unifying force) and therefore a lot of bible-thumpers don't agree with homosexuality, etc etc, therefore THEIR movement cannot be THE GAYS movement.

(Side note into feminism: much like civil rights, although the movement is no longer active to the point of bra burning, we are by no means done. Another side note that's more opinion and less fact: Condeleeza Rice is the third most powerful PERSON in the country. Probably on a list of top most powerful fifteen or so people in world. If that's not proof of progress of both the civil rights AND the feminist movements, then I don't know what is.)

(On the other hand, the U.S. is one of the few, if not the ONLY, developed country in the world that has never had a minority or female leader. Most UNDEVELOPED countries have us beat already. This is a sign that yes, we might have made some progress, but less than countries with half our GDP.)

SO.

Shock value. The more I think about it, although I can't think of any specific civil rights instances, one might argue that the shock of the movement is already covered by, well, vision. After all: racism exists because you can VISIBLY SEE that someone is different. And also with the feminists--we are visibly women, although all women aren't feminists, and neither are all feminists women. (It might also be said that not all, say, black people, are civil rights activists, and neither are all civil rights activists black people. Or even minorities.)

So I argued myself out of the idea that the civil rights movement didn't use shock value because they didn't need it. And I guess they did, anyway--banners, posters, etc. Those can be pretty shocking.

But nothing as picturesque as burning your bra, or even as unifying as the Stonewall Riots.

So! Movements DO use shock value, to varying degrees, to accomplish goals. Onto the value of shock value.

Again, this is a radicalism versus reality argument--we're having an argument about the value of voting on the veganfreak boards. And the short answer is, because I'm getting carpal tunnel and need to get SOME work done today, is: you need both. You really do. The value of shock is just that: SOUNDBITES. I already mentioned it: it's picturesque. It's easy to publicize. It gets the word out.

Do people turn up their noses at the idea of bra-burning? Yes. Did that explode the women's movement into the forefront of American consciousness? Yes. Is that the first thing people think of when they think of the women's movement? Often, yes. Is that a good thing? No, because it's so radical--the women's movement isn't really like that! It's just a bunch of females who have the remarkable idea that genders should be treated equally according to the law--everyday feminism, so to speak, and the inspiration for this blog's title. But does the very EXISTENCE of the women's movement ensure change, however slowly and surely? HELL YES. Women like myself, even those of us who are pretty confident in our abilities, sleep a little better at night knowing we can't be harrassed at work. Do the lecherous factory guys staring at my ass think twice about heckling because of sexual harrassment suits? YES. And THANK GOD. (There is a point to all this, and I'm getting to it, I swear.)

Onto the same-sex marriage argument: The Gay Rights movement can be a little more pushy and radical--and stubborn, even, and they are--because they're already riding on the back of these two movements. (Civil and women's). The idea of civil rights, EQUAL rights, for EVERYONE regardless of color, gender, or orientation--has already been planted in people's minds. Why?

Because of shocking events. Black people storming the capital, looking for equal pay. Women burning their bras in front of the Miss American pageant. These things live on in people's heads.

Because change, real change, at least in this country, is like a wedge. It's like a PLASTIC wedge that's being used to split a chunk of granite. You manuever the wedge in, and you tap in with a hammer, and then you slip a wider block of plastic to hold the new gap, and you drive the front, smaller wedge just a little farther in. And then you fill up the new gap with more stays. And then you drive the front wedge in just a little farther. To use the feminist movement as an example, people like Gloria Steinem are the front wedge. (And I guess people like Andrea Dworkin, although most of the time I pretend she doesn't exist.) And girls like me are the stays. And the more of us there are, the farther in you can drive that front wedge.

Tap, tap.

Summary: shock value is used in varying amounts by almost all movements. Could we use small steps instead? We could, and we do, already! The public just doesn't see it because all you see is that front wedge of radicalism. And WITHOUT that front wedge...

I think the granite would close up on the stays.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

We Interrupt This Program

So, I had nothing to say for five days. Hey, it's happened to everyone. (But as I now have something like 2500 hits a week, I'm beginning to feel partially responsible for disappointing people when I don't make myself blog. Hello, new readers! It's great to have you!)

Onto the blogging, and we ARE interrupting this program!

Some of you may have gleaned from the "Blogging the Relationship" posts that I am, in fact, dating a boy, code name The LT or just LT, and we talk a lot about many things. A LOT. About MANY things. And some of our talking is done by email, not surprising for two people who spend most of their waking hours at a computer. And one night while he was doing overnight duty, he sent me a long thoughtful email, and I liked it, and wanted to publish it along with my answer, taking a page (ha!) out of the epistolary novel form, and I asked him if I could. And then I posted it. And then I yanked it back, because even though I had asked him merely as a formality, and assumed he would say yes, I thought maybe I should observe protocol in this, his first guest appearance.

"I don't know," he said.

He didn't KNOW? Was he INSANE? Why would you NOT want thousands of people to read your private email?

Oh. Maybe I'm an attention whore. (Who knew?) Maybe most people DON'T want thousands of strangers reading their private email. Um.

But after a flurry of (what else?) emails, it became clear that that was not the problem. "No, on the contrary, I'd love for you to find my thoughts worthwhile to post in your blog; it's quite flattering. I'm just afraid I'm not up to the task...but go ahead, cruel world, DO YOUR BEST!

So! Without further adieu--in fact, without any adieu whatsoever--allow me to introduce you to the mind of the LT.

Sent: 7:36 a.m.
To: Aarwenn

I keep thinking about those pink, tutu wearing combat toting folks we saw in CapHill a few weeks ago. I have no issue with them dressing that way; good for them. Exercise your rights. That's why they're there. My question is, however, "Why?"

Possible solutions: Why does anyone dress the way they do? Underlying reason: shelter. To stay warm. To hide our private parts. Because it's the law.

Superficial, yet important reasons (to some): Style, status, attractiveness. Functionality (ski clothes). Uniformity (sports teams, military). I don't think any of these apply to our combat tutus. Maybe status, but it's not a mark of monetary value; maybe attractiveness, but I don't think anyone REALLY finds that attractive. I could be wrong. I know that many would find it attractive that they're so rebellious, but that's not quite the same thing. Style...well, same argument. It's not "stylish" to the mainstream, but only to a select minority.

I think the key here is that they are trying to use "Shock Value" to make a statement. That's fine; again, it's their right to do so. But what is my expected response? Do I stare? Do I accept them as normal and move on with my life? That seems to be the most progressive thing, right? Acceptance? But then, what's the point of using it as shock value, if it doesn't elicit a response?

MORE IMPORTANTLY, why use shock value in the first place? Has it ever worked in history? The racial struggle lead to death and murder and intrigue, and took decades (1860s to what...1960? A whole century?) to illicit a decent answer. Many people would be justified in saying it STILL hasn't been solved. The feminist movement? Bra burning? We're in what, the third or fourth iteration of feminism (I can't remember which you told me), and there's still a "glass ceiling" and other gender issues. Has shock value ever worked, then? Why use it?

These may even tie back into the same-sex marriage discussion we were having. I said something like, "Why didn't 'they accept the 'social union' term? Isn't that childish?" Something like that. Perhaps childish is a bad word (I know this..I'm not trying to be offensive to you or them…perhaps "closed minded" or "stubborn" is better...you see my point). Regardless, is the gay community trying to use shock value to get the conservatives to radically alter their mindset? Maybe they'd make more headway if they were willing to take small steps.

Should they HAVE to take small steps...well, no...but it might work better for them and produce results quicker, or at least with less stress.

Here ends the transmission.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Sigh

Warning: This post is not funny.

Hello. It is Tuesday. It is freakin' gray outside. And cold. I am underdressed for the weather. I have let the idea of having SOME disposable income go to my head--because I'm not so broke that I'm begging on the streets this week--and I have eaten out twice this week already.

I have just endured a lunch with my coworkers, in which I had to listen to my "mentor" talk about how his wife demanded they "get rid of" the first dog they owned, a beagle, because it "howled all the time", and how now they've got a mix of a black Lab and pit bull that they--get this--PAID MONEY FOR FROM A "BREEDER".

I will not go into the ridiculousness of buying a mixed breed puppy. (Apparently, the adoption agencies around them were full of "older dogs".)

Nor will I mention that this is a couple who went through five years of fertility treatments instead of adopting, because adoption vs. fertility vs. the hopelessness and despair that can face couples who want to breed but can't, when 13 year olds can, is a deep, flawed, and intricate subject, and certainly not anything that can be approached by me with my complete lack of experience.

But it does seem to be a similar mindset.

Anyway. And who knows if I wouldn't do the exact same thing under similar circumstances. (I don't know, it just never occurred to me to BUY a dog.) Adopt one! Please! But I digress.

I do that.

One of my coworkers asked me if this [veganism] was a religion thing or if I was just being weird.

A security guard yelled at me this morning for walking through an open gate--it was OPEN.

Titan barked at and jumped up on a stranger leaving the apartment building and I'm worried there will be serious repercussions.

My laptop battery is being recalled by Dell after they've had six explosion reports confirmed and dozens more rumored.

I was attacked by three mosquitoes this morning and had to finally kill them all. In my car. While driving.

(And I wonder why no one will ride with me.)

Lotion jumped out of the dispenser this morning and landed on my pink cardian.

And finally, last night, my bathroom fell apart on me.





Send wine.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Snippet From the Other Blog (2), Plus Alcohol

Anyone looking for drunken posting should check out my less mainstream blog.

I had some other point to make here, but apparently the point and its attached train of thought, having more brain cells than I have at the moment, recognized the emminent danger before I did, because it has left the building.

Today on the Hill (the Seattle one, not the DC one) I saw my second most amazing thing ever.

Well, sort of. I mean, I saw a guy on stilts. He had long pants on and was just walking along, a plastic bag from a local take-out place in his hand, nothing about his demeanor to suggest that he was trying to draw attention to himself, except that he was, well, on STILTS.

Behind him, a train of rubberneckers. Which is a big accomplishment on Capitol Hill, Seattle, WA. Because just yesterday I followed a trio of girls, all wearing tutus and combat boots, all sporting pink hair and horizontally-striped thigh-highs and crop-tops, down Broadway (Cap Hill's main drag) and I thought nothing of it.

Because although he beat the pair of lesbians violently making out against the wall of American Apparel--and I'm talking biting and drooling and one shirt half torn off--he did NOT beat the cross-dressing, street-walking nuns.

I'm just sayin'. Vive la difference! The Mainstream Sucks! Vive la Revelution!

Thank you and good night!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Mainstream? Who needs it?

When it involves:

    1. Commutes of 90 MINUTES EACH WAY

    and

    2. Debt equal to 108% of my INCOME?


If this is mainstream, I'm ready to move to a commune tomorrow. This is no way to live.

Blogging the Relationship (8)

SO, The LT continually complains that I haven’t seen enough good movies, says my pop culture education is sadly lacking. And this may be true, in fact it probably is; it’s not an accusation I haven’t heard before. (Hi, kiwi!)

But the man has gone so far as to make a list. ON HIS CELL PHONE. So it's always with him. A list of movies he thinks I should see. (Side Note: He makes grocery lists, too. Can you SEE why this is SO HOT? I thought you could.)

Not included in the list is the huge stack of movies he pulled out last night from his collection and handed to me. Just looking at them made me tired. He was going on and on about movies like Event Horizon, and The Abyss and The Punisher, and finally I burst out with, “Baby, I don’t particularly like scary movies or thrillers. There’s a REASON I didn’t see these movies in the theaters! It’s not like I just forgot!”

He was quiet for a minute. “I’m sorry,” he said in a way that just about broke my heart. “You’re right. You really don’t have to see any of them if you don’t want to.” And he started to put them back.

And then I got a brain wave. “No, wait a minute. This could work well if I ALSO got to make you see movies that are important to ME. Or TV shows that I love, like Bones and Gilmore Girls and CSI.”

“Fair enough. You saw The Punisher. I saw an episode of CSI. Now it’s your turn.”

“Okay.”

* * *

It occurred to me later that this might become something horribly clich├ęd. Tee-hee! I just can’t watch scary movies without a big strong man next to me! And now I will punish you by making you watch Desperate Housewives and the Home Shopping Network! Buy me pearls! I will give you head as a special treat! (Sorry, Dad.)

But by the grace of Gloria Steinem, I don’t think that’s how this will go. I like girly movies, yes. Some of them. I like girly movies with strong female leads, not rom-coms (ugh) and I like action movies, good ones, especially ones that have female leads. (Seeing a trend here? I’m a feminist, what? Check the BLOG ADDRESS!)

And most of the LT’s movies, although manly, focus on war or ships or cars in some way. The guy’s an engineer in the military and he served on a submarine, and he races autocross. None of his movie choices are surprising viewed in that light.

So, on the one hand, this is about a guy and a girl, and their movie choices reflecting their genders, but on the other hand, this is about getting to know the other person through their favorite movies. And that’s a great thing.

I haven’t yet decided if I’ll ever make him watch BBC’s Pride and Prejudice, though.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Jinxing It, or, the Socrates Method Taken To Extremes.

Once again, I have just dropped the LT off at the ferry to Bremerton after a long weekend.

It is interesting that two weekends ago, before my honorary nephew was born (YESTERDAY! WELCOME JUSTUS JAMES TO THE WORLD!), my last three-day weekend, I spent maybe half of it with the LT, and I worried at the end that I had spent "too much" time with him, if there is such a thing or even if I had any need to worry about such a thing whatsoever.

This weekend, another three day weekend, I spent almost every moment with the LT, waking and sleeping, with others and not with others. I took exactly two dog walks without him--maybe a total of an hour, maybe a little more--in a period of something ridiculous like 72 hours. And I didn't worry about that at ALL. Never crossed my mind that I was spending "too much" time with my boyfriend of less than two months!

Does that mean I've gained sanity points, but lost cool points? Independence points? No. It means: it's not the activities, or the amount of time you spend with somebody. It's the motive. Am I spending time with the LT because he is staying at my house and dependent on me for transportation because we are trying to be cognizant of the amount of gas we burn, seeing each other? Yes. Would it be ridiculous to send him to a bar or me to a bookstore, away from each other, just to comply with some notion that everyone needs their "space"? Yes.

Would it be completely different if I was making him stay because I was worried that if he wasn't seeing me, he would forget about me, or worried that he didn't like me enough, so I'd better keep him by my side so I could constantly remind him how cool I was, or so concerned about the state of our relationship that I needed his physical presence to reassure me? HECK yes.

Am I worried that if being insecure makes me desire his presence 24-7, that conversely, having his presence 24-7 will make me insecure? Heck. Yes. And can I say again: HECK. YES.

Is this irrational? Probably. *Looks down* Yep, still female, what?

Is this worry about possibly BECOMING insecure making me worry about jinxing things? Sure. Am I worried that it's been so good so far that the other shoe is about to drop? Yes. (LT, you don't ritualistically torture innocent cucumbers or anything, do you?)

Do I have to just keep on keeping on, and life (and the LT and I) will take care of itself? Yes! And that's one of the great things ABOUT life!

Is that something I tell myself often during a week in which I have gotten TWO speeding tickets, BOTH FOR EXACTLY 24 MILES OVER THE SPEED LIMIT? Yes. Effin' Seattle cops. Am I eating the most crazy delicious soy ice cream ever? Yes. Am I still picking through it to find all the peanut butter parts? Yes.

Thank you and good night.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Note to Self:

It may have been a poor decision to watch "Farenheit 9/11" with your boyfriend.

In fact, on a short list of poor decisions, this idea should have appeared somewhere near the top, right above "give your boyfriend your blog address", and right below "give your FATHER your blog address".

Because you are, indeed, a liberal vegan wannabe pagan who thinks the sun shines out of Democratic Party's collective butt, and he is a Republican gun-totin' conservative from TEXAS, who is currently WORKING FOR THE COMMANDER IN CHIEF.

(Also on that list would include past decisions like: Take Pulls Straight off the Everclear Bottle, Attempt to Date Your Roommate, Make 13 Dates in One Weekend, etc.)

We're still not done with the movie. We made it halfway before we decided it would easier to pause it and just talk than it would to CONTINUE pausing it, unpausing, rewinding to a part we wanted to talk about, fast forwarding over parts we didn't want to talk about, fighting for control of the laptop on which to look things up, etc. I kept getting up to take shots, which I took in solidarity with the people on screen who were actually getting shot at.

We're planning to finish it tonight. Stay tuned.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Old Friends. What They Know Can Kill You.

I called my Freshman Year Roommate, D, today.

Me: "Hi! It's Aarwenn!"

D: "Hi! How's it going?"

Me: "Good. Just calling to say if you're still getting married in October."

D: (Laughing) "Yes I am!"

Me: "Awesome, because plane tickets are really cheap right now, and I'm thinking of buying one."

D: "Good! I'm excited!"

Me: "Me too! Hey, does my wedding invitation say 'and Guest' on it?"

D: "No."

Me: Thinking, Shit. "Um...okay. Is it too much to ask for that now?"

D: "Not at all, we haven't sent them out yet. But...are you sure?"

Me: "What?"

D: "Um...I hate to ask this...but..."

Me: "What, D? Spit it out!"

D: "Um...are you...um, are you sure that you're still going to be together in October?"

Maybe I should have asked her if she still planned to have a screaming match with her mother at the altar.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Quick Update

HOLY CRAP MY OWN FATHER IS READING MY BLOG.

That is all. I'm unsure if I should go through and edit, or what.

Blogging the Relationship (7)

It always comes down to this. This moment of indecision. This point in the telephone conversation in which neither party has a strong opinion. And you're trying to decide something, anything, be it the movie you're planning to watch or the restaurant to go to for dinner or who's going to who's house, and the silence stretches on and on and because you're on the phone, you can't read their expression or tone and you want to disctract yourself by tickling them or stripping or getting up and getting a glass of water or changing the volume on the radio or really, any one of a thousand little things people do to cover up the fact that the silence is still going on, but you can't because you're ON THE GODDAMMED PHONE, and now you begin to doubt yourself, you think, Do I realy have an opinion on this? I thought I didn't, but maybe I should create one just so I have SOMETHING TO SAY, but then you become worried you'll make the WRONG snap decision, and the silence is still happening, and you begin to wonder how much plane flights are to the Bahamas and if it would be easier just to hang up and break up with the person rather than trying to ignore the fact that both of you are spineless wimps with nothing better to do than sit on the phone and attempt to make a simple decision that doesn't matter in the long run, anyway.

Roommate was once dating a girl. (I swear, it happens!) (Hi, Roommie!) (Blogging Audience: in real life, Roomie is a stud that has no trouble finding women.) Anyway, things were going along okay, they weren't making wedding plans or anything but they enjoyed each other's company, until one fateful day when she said she was hungry and he said, "I'm not, but we can go pick something up for you, where do you want to go?"

...And she didn't have an opinion on the FOOD SHE WANTED TO PUT IN HER MOUTH.

"Pick for me," she said.

Roomie, telling me this story later, broke off here and said, "I was like...seriously? You're really serious? Because now I'm beginning to think I'd rather claw my eyes out with a fork than date you anymore."

So! Decision making! Important! And hard to do, especially on the phone, especially when you want to say I SWEAR I'M NOT BEING A SPINELESS WIMP, I JUST REALLY DON'T HAVE A STRONG OPINION, SO GO AHEAD AND DO WHATEVER YOU WANT AND I'LL BE OKAY WITH IT.

The LT and I, on the phone:

LT: So, I could come over tomorrow.
Me: Okay.
LT: Is that okay?
Me: Sure, I love having you over! But it's a long way.
LT: And I'm not sure how demanding my work schedule will be.
Me: And I'll see you on Thursday anyway when I go over there.
LT: ...so am I coming over?
Me: If you want. I mean, I'd like to have you, but I don't want to put you out.
LT: I don't want to encroach on your alone time.
Me: And I appreciate that! Part of my responsibility in this relationship is to a) recongize the vague but unhappy feeling I get when my alone time is being encroached upon, and b) speak up, and I promise I will do my best to do both those things, but I'm not feeling that way right now.
LT: (Laughing) Okay.
Me: Believe me, there will be times when I REALLY NEED YOU TO COME OVER BECAUSE I WILL FALL APART WITHOUT YOU. But this is not one of those times.
LT: So I could come over tomorrow.
Me:
Yes, if it works with your schedule.

--Five minutes more of this go on, and then:--

Me: So I guess we've arrived at this question: if there's no pressing reasons why we SHOULDN'T see each other, and we have time, does that mean we should?
LT: I think Yes.
Me: Me too.
LT: Okay, I'm packing a bag.
Me: Yay!